Lucky Dragon 5

A little article on the NHK - Japanese TV feed come on while I was working out and it’s work a mention.

One of the last remaining fisherman from the Lucky Dragon 5 died at age 87:

A former crew member of a Japanese fishing boat exposed to the nuclear fallout from a 1954 US nuclear test in the Pacific has died.

Masaho Ikeda died of stomach cancer in a hospital in Fujieda City in Shizuoka Prefecture on Thursday. He was 87 years old. His relatives say he had also suffered esophagus and liver cancer.

Ikeda was an engine driver of the tuna fishing boat Daigo Fukuryu Maru, meaning “Number 5 Lucky Dragon.” The boat carrying a 23-member crew was operating when the US carried out the hydrogen bomb test at Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands on March 1, 1954.

Ikeda kept silent about his experience initially, but nearly 60 years later, he began sharing his story with younger generations.

He and other former crew members gave accounts of their experiences in a documentary by a US film director released last year.

Last February, Ikeda attended a funeral of another former crew member, Susumu Misaki, who died at the age of 92. Ikeda had said Misaki was like a brother to him.

More from Wikipedia:

The Daigo Fukuryū Maru ( translated is Lucky Dragon 5 ) encountered the fallout from the U.S. Castle Bravo nuclear test at Bikini

Atoll, near the Marshall Islands, on March 1, 1954.   (This was a 15 Megaton bomb) When the test was held, the Daigo Fukuryū Maru was catching fish outside the danger zone that the U.S. government had declared in advance.

However, the test was more than twice as powerful as predicted, and changes in weather patterns

blew nuclear fallout, in the form of a fine ash, outside the danger zone. On that day, the sky in

the west lit up like a sunset. Seven minutes later, the sound of the explosion arrived, with fallout

reaching the ship two hours later. The fishermen attempted to escape from the area, but they

took time to retrieve fishing gear from the sea, exposing themselves to radioactive fallout for several hours.

The fallout – fine white flaky dust of calcinated Bikini Island coral, which absorbed highly radioactive fission products and

neutron activated isotopes – fell on the ship for three hours. The fishermen scooped the highly radioactive dust into bags

with their bare hands. One fisherman, Matashichi Oishi, reported that he “took a lick” of the dust that fell on his ship,

describing it as gritty but with no taste.[10] The dust stuck to surfaces, bodies and hair; after the radiation sickness

symptoms appeared, the fishermen called it shi no hai ( 死の灰, death ash).

This true story was the basis of the kaiju story Godzilla otherwise known as Gojia that was released November 1954

It’s been said that the US government did little to help the Japanese authorities figure out how to treat these victims.  Another black mark on the US!

Using Format